Resistance is Futile – Dare to Change!

Excerpt from Warning to Children by Robert Graves

Children, if you dare to think
Of the greatness, rareness, muchness
Fewness of this precious only
Endless world in which you say
You live, you think of things like this:
Blocks of slate enclosing dappled
Red and green, enclosing tawny
Yellow nets, enclosing white
And black acres of dominoes,
Where a neat brown paper parcel
Tempts you to untie the string.

As I come to the end of a 28 day challenge of daily conscious connected heart breathing, I find that I have more questions than answers and the resistance to this daily commitment is as strong as ever. How can it be that such a simple half hour practice stirs up so much procrastination and self doubt?

You may not know that I named Untie The String Natural Healing Therapies after a poem that spoke to me when I was a curious teenager, asking myself the unanswerable questions of life. For me, Warning to Children, by Robert Graves is a poem full of sounds and images that allude to the magic of curiosity and the wonders of the world, visualised by the child on a quest to understand, to know what’s true and what’s opinion, to find answers to the big questions.

The poem starts out by conjuring up an image of the dream life for many people, full of varied experiences and wonderful discoveries, but then goes on to describe the confusion and trapped feeling full of overwhelm that comes from chasing after a never-ending supply of possibilities, because this can tie you up in mental knots and make you unhappy.

It’s a poem that zooms in and out, winding in loops, like a ball of string that you keep dropping and rewinding only to drop again to form new tangles. It reminds me of when you have an unresolved question going round and round in your head and it keeps you from getting any creative juices flowing, because just when you feel you are getting somewhere, you find yourself beginning anew with the doubts and delve down another random rabbit hole.

To me, the warning in the poem is against falling down the rabbit hole of the quest for meaning and answers to the big questions, but it could be about the more mundane dilemmas too, when we go in search for right and wrong, absolute yes or no truths, total and instant transformation, instead of coping with the muddy greys and getting started without total certainty, focus or commitment.

Perhaps you can resonate with this endless vortex that spins out of the journey to awakening; the feeling you are trapped by all the choices that are yet to be explored, unable to enjoy them or apply them, sort of like when you have signed up for too many online courses and don’t know where to start! You feel so tied up, going round in cycles or circles, blocked by all the possibilities swirling round inside a tangled tawny net, that it leads to frustration and unhappiness. Beginnings are easy, but building a habit is the real journey and the challenge I am taking on with this heart breathing practice.

So how can we apply this awareness of resistance and overwhelm to building a new daily breathwork habit? I think it helps to think of change like a butterfly; it’s elusive, so we can’t grasp it easily. We must let this precious butterfly flit about until the next landing with us. The more we chase it, the less we can be with it. Let there be a dancing butterfly approach and then what you seek may come to you more easily. Invite playful curiosity, a sense of fun and a willingness to take a leap of faith, to breathe into the magical, before you have all the facts; before you have all your ducks in a row.

The daily work is to forgive yourself for each diversion and distraction, pick up that dropped ball of string with a wry smile and begin again to untie the string around that neat brown paper parcel of life. The daily challenge is to remember with each new unravelling not to get caught up in grasping for results and certainty. Just promise yourself you won’t delay getting started until you feel more focused, because if you think about it for one second, you know you won’t feel more focused until you do get started! So let’s be adventurous and curious as we set out anew each morning with some light-hearted steps and trust that the magic will land with us soon enough.


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